In 2005 I was asked to be in a group show at a small gallery in Brooklyn. I had painted a large painting the year before called The Tower and had recently finished 2 small paintings: one of a monorail and the other of some highway lights. The Tower was used as part of the series Ten Great Paintings About Ten Great Philosophies and the 2 small paintings would later be used in Epicenter City. For this small group show I was interested in using them to address the United States’ corrupt privatization of public utilities. Here is what I wrote and below that are the paintings that were used:
In my most recent paintings I address issues of subversive power and control. This control is most notable in the corporate and military sectors of society where the public has little chance of establishing any democratic influence. These privatized tyrannies aim to circumvent democratic processes by misinforming the public through very select, corporate controlled media outlets while continuing to carry out illegal and often state sanctioned acts against popular interests.
The Destruction of Public Utilities addresses the continual migration of public utilities into the hands of the private sector. Such necessities as water, gas, electricity and transportation are no longer accessible through governmentally maintained facilities but are rather sold by the largely unregulated utility conglomerates to the public as a profitable commodity. In the future, the very building blocks of life will be bought and sold in the marketplace, leaving the majority of the population struggling just to survive.
The Tower presents the ominous realities of media conglomeration and their threats to democracy and public accessibility. This continual concentration of media outlets allows a select amount of corporate giants to limit the parameters of information available to the masses at large, creating a narrowly informed and complacent population of willing consumers.